STATE PLAYOFF NOTEBOOK: DWS' Zenon OK after injury: TAE primed for second straight title

Photo by Danny Aller

Photo by Danny Aller

ALBANY -- When Deerfield-Windsor star running back Tony Zenon game up limping during a third-quarter run in Friday night's GISA Class Final Four showdown with Pinecrest Academy, there were more than a few concerned DWS supporters .

But have no fear, Knights fans -- Zenon is fine.

"As of (Sunday), we think he's going to be OK," said, Deerfield coach Allen Lowe, classifying the injury as no more than a "mild sprain."

Added Lowe: "He should be ready to go by Friday."

That's when Zenon and the Knights host George Walton at 7:30 p.m. at Webb Memorial Stadium in a rematch of the Knights' first game of the season, a 16-6 GW win.

When asked Sunday if he and his coaches were game-planning a whole new scheme to approach George Walton differently this time, Lowe just laughed.

"Oh yeah -- we're doing something different this time," he said. "This time, we're gonna try and win."



Terrell Academy has been truly tested just once in the last two months, a 21-19 win over Westwood. The Eagles (10-2) rolled over Briarwood, 28-0, in the GISA Class A semis, but figure to get tested again Friday in the state title game against Thomas Jefferson (9-2) at Don Beard Field.

Of course, they were supposed to be challenged in the state title game last year at Thomas Jefferson, too, but won by five touchdowns. Briarwood head coach John Osborne faced both the Jaguars and Eagles, losing to both (21-7 vs. Thomas Jefferson).

"Team speed -- I don't think TJ's got it (compared to Terrell)," Osborne said. "And physical strength, Terrell is strong."

COLE TAKES OVER: Eagles' senior quarterback Cole Phillips mostly watched last year as Keaton Icard led Terrell to its first state title since 1996. This year, Phillips has taken over under center and led the Eagles to nine consecutive wins and another date in the title game.

He said a championship ring this year will be much more special because of his involvement in the offense.

"Last year, I didn't play like I wanted to," Phillips said. "I just came in when Keaton needed a break."

Asked about being considered the leader of this year's region championship team and state title contender, Phillips just shrugged and said, "I guess so. They say that."

BEARD A PART OF ANOTHER GREAT EAGLES TEAM: At age 70, legendary Terrell Academy coach Don Beard is still going strong. Beard, whose namesake adorns the Eagles' field and who serves as the defensive coordinator, used his patented 5-2 defensive front to shut down a potent Briarwood wishbone attack, just as he did last year in the second half of the state championship against Thomas Jefferson.

Osborne said almost every team Briarwood has faced this season has needed nine to 10 players in the box to slow his offense, but not Terrell. The Eagles were able to stay in Beard's base 50 front and still leave enough players in the secondary, which led to four interceptions.

Beard, who won back-to-back-to-back state titles as head coach in Dawson from 1994-96, has given no indication he's ready to retire, Eagles' head coach Bill Murdock said.

"He hasn't said (anything about retiring)," Murdock said. "I told him if he quit, he (may pass on). We want to keep him around."